Sat, Jan


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Pascal Amoah|myghanalinks - There is still a big doubt in the minds of some staunch Manchester United fans across the world for a French teenager trying to justify an initial investment of £36m in his talent but Anthony Martial isn't perturbed. He proved his worth with two sharp finishes on his first Premier League start taking his tally to three goals in two league appearances since his record transfer from Monaco.

In Sunday’s match against Southampton, Luis Van Gaal chose to deploy Daley Blind at centreback, with Marcos Rojo replacing the injured Luke Shaw at left-back instead. As per the Southampton manager’s early statement, Pellè bullied Blind from the start but that was certainly not the only duel that the hosts were winning. Matteo Darmian could not contain the tricky Dusan Tadic, while all of United’s defenders, especially Rojo, were seriously uncomfortable with the intense pressure by the sharp deadly movement and trickery pace of Sadio Mané. James Ward-Prowse was ably serving his more advanced team-mates from midfield, with United seemingly unable to get a consistent grip on the game.

Graziano Pelle struck an early goal to power the Saints to an early lead. Southampton were buoyant and nearly made it 2-0 just two minutes after opening the scoring.

Mané again personified the difference in the team’s winning mentality by harassing Chris Smalling into surrendering possession. Oriol Romeu slipped a pass through to Pellè, who turned past Blind and fired a very low shot past De Gea but against the outside of the post.

Martial strained to head a cross from Mata over the bar in the 24th minute but United were generally showing little sign of being able to relieve the pressure in the minds of their fans until, suddenly, they drew level in the 33rd minute.

Martial, again, capitalized on a poor back pass from Maya Yoshida to double the advantage before David de Gea pulled off a brilliant save to keep out Jose Fonte's goal threatening header.

Juan Mata netted the third in the 68th minute after Memphis Depay's powerful shot hit the post and United held on for victory though Pelle pulled a goal back for the Saints in the closing stages.

The victory moves United up to second in the table, just two points behind league leaders Manchester City, and maintains their excellent record at St Mary's Stadium, where they have won on nine of their last 11 visits.

While Anthony Martial was the star of the day, David De Gea's Display in goal should not be overlooked.

Per my own analytical statistics, Anthony Martial was my man of the match.


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